Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Views, New Horizons … Deep Holes

One thing that it is hard to miss in this part of Arizona are the many huge, open-pit mines.  I have seen massive mine pits near Bisbee, Ajo, Superior, Miami, Globe, and other places that I have likely forgotten.  Some of them, like Bisbee, and Ajo are largely abandoned, but there are still some going strong.  One of these is near Kearny, and I could see bits of it from my camp on the hilltop about 10 miles away.  So I drove over for a look one day.P2191730

Only a little confusing to have the Visitor’s access point – right beside the ‘no trespassing’ sign?  On the way to the viewpoint, I had a look at some of the pipe they have laying around.  This stuff was huge, with walls 2” thick, and about 2 feet in diameter.


When you get to the actual viewpoint, you have to look down. Way down!  Even then you can’t even see the deepest part of the pit!  Did I say massive?  On Google Earth, the total size of the pit and tailings pond measures 10km (6 miles) long, and about 4km (2.5 miles) wide.  And that is 2006 imagery, so who knows if it is even larger now!


Those are huge excavators and giant rock trucks on the far side!


Meanwhile, back at camp, Hailey has a full time job keeping the wildlife ‘wild’. CIMG7600 CIMG7601And I filled up a bag with garbage (trash, they call it down here) from all around the campsite. This was red-neck garbage, not RV’er garbage.  It was mostly broken bottles, cans, shotgun shells, and plastic bottles.  There was a solar powered stock watering trough nearby, though I never saw any evidence of cows.  I noticed the tank had screens installed to allow small critters to get out after a swim.


I also checked out  the larger tower in the neighbourhood.


And found that some of the cactus and other vegetation was beginning to flower.


My iPhone app led me to a nearby geocache.


After all that was taken care of and things were in order, there was nothing left to do but hook up, and head ‘down’ the road again.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Down the road from Dogpound (sounds like the title of a blog!)

After enjoying the hospitality and food at John & Brenda’s place, I knew I wouldn’t have to eat for a while, so once again we headed for the hills.

The hills we found turned out to be somewhat east of Florence, Az off the aptly named Florence-Kelvin road.P2171639


We found gates on some of the roads …


But then we found a pretty much ideal spot on a hill top with views all around on a road to nowhere, and not another camper in sight; not a generator, rooster, or scare cannon to be heard.  And as a bonus, lots of off-air TV channels as well.  Not to mention sunshine, blue skies, and warm temperatures.


A few hunters showed up on the weekend, and some target shooters, but that was about it.  I shared my hill with some nearby towers, one of which was close enough for some photos.  From below.


And, a look at that tower – from above.P2181665CIMG7599P2181646P2181654P2181657P2181669P2181672P2181680

Flowers are blooming along the sides of the road, and the birds are loving this relatively lush desert vegetation.


The rent is cheap, the views are good, supplies are holding out, so perhaps we’ll stay here for a few days!